Seedorf thanks ‘generous’ Rooney

Clarence Seedorf was “flattered” when Wayne Rooney labelled him the

best player he has faced and admits he is also a huge fan of the


But the AC Milan midfielder does not believe the Italian

giants need to man-mark Manchester United’s in-form England star

when the two teams meet in their heavyweight Champions League


Seedorf and Rooney will be in opposition on Tuesday when

United face Milan at the San Siro in the first leg of their last-16


Rooney has said Seedorf “is probably the best player I’ve

ever played against” and described the Dutch midfielder’s

performance for Milan against United in the 2007 semi-finals as


Seedorf said: “I was really flattered by those words and

thank him.

“I’m a big fan of him, he’s such a generous player and a

quality player and hearing those words from him meant a lot to me.”

Seedorf stressed he would not make special plans to handle

Rooney, or any other player.

“I’ve never believed in containing a single player because no

single player has ever alone made the difference. It’s a team

effort, it’s a team performance,” he said on BBC Radio Five Live’s

Sportsweek programme.

“Then of course we know there is a lot of individual quality

there and I would say Rooney is a player that is very much a team

player with incredible individual skills.

“So we have to be sure that we play the game as we want and

impose our game, so we can reduce the importance of the individuals

that are on the other side.”

Milan could include former United midfielder David Beckham in

their line-up on Tuesday, and Seedorf has no doubt the one-time Old

Trafford icon is relishing the two matches.

And he urged Beckham to enjoy the moment if he scores against

his former club.

Beckham recently said he would not celebrate a goal against

United but Seedorf said: “Scoring a goal in the Champions League is

a special moment and a special emotion and I think you should be


“Celebrating your goal doesn’t mean you’re being

disrespectful to the team you’ve played for for so long.”